The most recent death here in Calais was that of a young Eritrean woman hit by a car on the A16 while trying to cross the road. While this is being reported in the news as a terrible accident, information we have been getting from those who witnessed the tragedy shows otherwise. Witnesses say that immediately before this young woman lost her life she had been in contact with the police. They say that she along with a group of five other people been had been caught by police and then sprayed in their faces with CS gas. Afterward the people then fled across the highway one by one. However, because the gassing had irritated her eyes so much the young woman could not see when she went to cross the highway. This meant that she did not see and could not avoid the car speeding towards her which hit her.
While in this case the police’s actions directly lead to one woman losing her life, everyday they are putting people into extremely dangerous situations. We hear that the police routinely chase people onto the highways surrounding the train and force people to run in front of oncoming traffic to avoid being caught, gassed, and beaten. They also have been driving people far outside of Calais, even to the Belgian border, before kicking them out of the car and forcing them to walk back along the very busy highway where many people have been hit before.
The fact that there have been ten deaths since June 1st at the same time that there has been a massive increase in security at the ports is not mere coincidence. All the fences and police do not stop people from trying to make it to England, they just simply force them to take more and more dangerous routes to get there. The cynical solutions that the state is proposing will not have any effect. Migrants do not need “education” about the risks of trying to cross to England, they know them better than anyone. Also, lighting the highway will not do much if police are deliberately trying to force people in front of the oncoming traffic and gassing people so that they can no longer see.
People here are not losing their lives in freak accidents, these deaths are the full and intended consequences of the border regime and its thugs.
Open the border and stop the killings!
Here are a list of those who have lost their lives on this border in the past two months. There were fourteen deaths in Calais during 2014 and around thirty-five from the years before that.
July 24th : A young Eritrean woman hit by a car about 5:30 on the A16.
July 23rd : A teenager was found dead in the English part of the Eurotunnel at Folkestone.
July 19th : Houmed Moussa, an Eritrean teenager of 17, drowned on the site of Eurotunnel.
July 16th : Achrat Mohamad, a young Pakistani man of 23 years has died of his injuries from an accident in the Channel Tunnel on the night of July 13 to 14.
On the night of July 13th to the 14th : A Sudanese man died trying to go to England by the Channel Tunnel.
July 7th : A Sudanese exile is found dead during the inspection of a freight train in the Channel Tunnel.
July 4th : Samir, an Eritrean baby died one hour after birth. Her mother, twenty years old, fell from the truck triggering a premature delivery at twenty-two weeks.
June 29th to 30th : The body of Zebiba is found along the A16 between Calais and Marck, struck on the highway. She had gone with two friends to try to go to England.
June 26th : Getenet Legese Yacob, an Ethiopian man of 32 years died while trying to climb onto a train going through the Channel Tunnel.
June 1st, 2015: At 4 am, a refugee is hit by a car on the A16 and dies.